Liz Burns has a terrific analysis of a recent WSJ article about young adult fiction. I agree with almost everything about what she says, so I'm just going to point you there.
The article is riddled with the factual errors you usually find in articles about kids' and YA books, and Liz details some of them. (It occurs to me that probably most articles are riddled with errors; this is just the stuff I happen to know about.) But overall, for once, they're on the right track. And what I especially liked, and what Liz didn't like, was that the article cited "Mary Ingalls going blind" as an example of how YA literature has always included some dark stuff. I didn't like that they said she went blind in Little House on the Prairie, when everyone KNOWS it was By the Shores of Silver Lake, which actually is a YA book. But I think it was a great example to use. Mary's blindness really is very dark and sad, though I think I see that more now, as an adult. And I love it when people writing about this stuff look at a broad historical range. (You've all heard my Newbery rants, I'm sure, about how if anything Newbery-winning books used to be even darker, like Strawberry Girl and Roller Skates.) Liz would prefer Robert Cormier as an example, but by using Mary Ingalls, the journalist reaches back further and makes a less obvious example that will really make people think.
I would also like to note that:
-I don't really think The Hunger Games is that dark, and
-Please, tell me WHEN YA has chiefly consisted of "fizzy escapism". NOT EVEN IN THE FIFTIES, PEOPLE.